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"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.

In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

~ Julia Child

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chocolate Sourdough Bread. (Yes, I said Chocoloate Sourdough)

I have an obsession with bread.  I love it.  The way a nice loaf of bread smells baking in the oven.  The taste of a good French loaf topped with olive oil , basil and fresh tomato!  It is an amazing thing.  It is life!  Part of my passion with bread is Sourdough.  It always seemed like a mystery to me.  A culture of flour and water that has the capability to make bread rise and give it that amazing sour flavor.  The heart of sourdough is the culture.  I have created my own and you can to.  Breadtopia has an amazing video on how to make one or you can purchase one from them.  You can also purchase one from King Arthur Flour . You can also order one for the cost of two stamps from Carl Griffith's 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter. Sourdough may not be for everybody.  You have to feed it and take care of it.  Think of it like a pet.  If you are up for a challenge then give it a try.  After your starter is established start with a basic sourdough recipe like the one at Breadtopia.  This site has wonderful videos on bread making including sourdough.  After you are comfortable with sourdough give this bread a try.

Healthy Sourdough Starter

Chocolate Sourdough Bread
adapted from How to Make Bread by, Emmanuel Hadjinadreou

200g/1 1/3 cups dried fruit (if you want, I did not add it)
80g 2/3 cup chocolate chips
330g/2 2/3 cup bread flour
8g/1 1/4 teaspoons salt
20g/2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
170g/ 2/3 cup sourdough starter
250g/1cup warm water
bread proofing basket or a well floured towel in a bread pan will work too
baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet
pizza peel (for the stone)

(Makes one large loaf of yummy amazement)

 Measure your chocolate and dried fruit, mix together and set aside. (not cocoa powder that comes later)
in a medium bowl mix together flour, salt and coca powder (aka your dry mixture)
 this is when you want to add your cocoa and fruit and mix in as well
in a large mixing bowl mix your starter and water (aka your wet mixture)
add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until it comes together (I found that I had to add a bit more flour so it was not as sticky) let the dough rest for 20 min

After 20 min. knead the bread by pulling it onto itself about 8 times, cover and let rest again for 10 min
knead in the bread in the bowl again cover and let rest 10 min
knead the bread in the bowl again and cover let rest for 10 min.
knead the bread in the bowl and cover for 1 hour

here's a quick little tip, use a hotel shower cap to cover your bowl. Works great and keeps the dough moist.
Wen the dough has doubled in volume move it to a lightly floured surface and punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into two even pieces and shape into two balls.
dust the dough rising basket or clean cotton (not terrycloth) towel 
if using towel line your loaf pan with the towel as shown in the above photo.
Cover and let rise 3-6 hours (I let it rise the full six hours) Okay don't do what I did.  I put the bread seam side down into my basket. Bad idea because you are going to be turning it out onto the parchment or peel.  you want the nice smooth side to be on top when you turn it out sooooo, put the bread into the basket seam side UP

About 20 min before baking (your dough should be at least doubled in volume) preheat your oven to 475.  If you are using a baking stone put it in while the oven is preheating. reserve 1 cup hot water and add a dry roasting pan to the bottom rack of your oven.
If you are like me and using a baking sheet and parchment paper, turn your loaf out onto the parchment paper (if using a stone turn it onto your peel)
and use a sharp knife or lame to score your bread in an X pattern. 
Slide the bread into the oven and pour the reserved water into the roasting pan to create steam in the oven (makes for an awesome crust)
bake the loaf for 30 min until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom
take the bread out of the oven and move onto a cooling rack.  Now here is the hard part... let it cool completely, all the way, we're talking let it get cold , before you cut into it.  This is the hardest part of baking bread next to letting it rise.  If you cut into your loaf too soon it will make the crumb gooey and smash the bread into a crouton!  Trust me let it cool!!!

This bread is amazing.  I swear it tasted like I bought it at a bakery!  The only part that is sweet is the chocolate chips!  MMMMM!  Toast it and try some Nutella on it!  
Now that's death by Chocolate!

In an earlier photo you may have been wondering what the heck this thing is? It's called a Danish Dough Whisk.  It's a handy little tool that you can pick up at King Arthur Flour.  For a video on how to use it and the best price should you choose to purchase one check out Breadtopia.  This is my new favorite bread baking site.  You can also purchase the cookbook that I used to create this loaf  How to Bake Bread my new favorite bread book!

Okay peeps gotta run.  I get the funtactular experience of  waiting for the refrigerator repair guy to come you know sometime between 8AM and noon!  Good Times!!

Now it's time to Get Your Yum on!!!


  1. Hi Becky! I'm loving seeing these posts from you :-) This chocolate bread looks DIVINE. I wish I had a slice of it (instead of the whole wheat bagel I'm munching on.) Thank you for sharing. I loved your tip about the shower cap too. Brilliant!

  2. This bread looks so yummy. I have always been afraid to make bread but I think this summer I will give it a try.